AFC Training Camp Notes

Training Camps are about to start and here are some news/notes/rumors from last week for each AFC team that I could find.

AFC EAST

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

QB: Tom Brady’s appeal has been heard by Roger Goodell. How much longer do we wait to hear his suspension has been reduced?

RB: Travaris Cadet, James White and Dion Lewis are battling for the pass-catching job in New England.

WR: Brandon LaFell has been spotted in a walking boot with an undisclosed injury.

TE: The Pats cut both Tim Wright and Fred Davis.

MIAMI DOLPHINS

QB: Ryan Tannehill has been seen playing much smoother in his second season in Bill Lazor’s offense.

RB: Rookie Jay Ajayi has been impressive and might push Lamar Miller for touches.

WR: First-round pick DeVante Parker had foot surgery to replace a screw in the foot he broke last season. He is expected to be ready for Week 1.

TE: The Dolphins plan to use Jordan Cameron more vertically to stretch the seam this season.

NEW YORK JETS

QB: Geno Smith is the starter this season as the QB1 and will get at least a month to prove himself.

RB: Stevan Ridley is recovering from ACL surgery and may not be ready for training camp.

WR: Brandon Marshall is living with new best friend Geno Smith in order to build chemistry.

TE: Zach Sudfeld tore his ACL and is on IR.

BUFFALO BILLS

QB: The starting job is still very much up in the air. Not only are E.J. Manuel and Matt Cassel battling but Tyrod Taylor is also in the mix as well.

RB: LeSean McCoy is expect to see well over 300 carries this season.

WR: Sammy Watkins is still recovering from offseason hip surgery and is just now beginning to inch closer to full strength.

TE: Bills’ rookie TE Nick O’Leary is likely to win the TE2 job and play a role in two-tight end sets.

AFC NORTH

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

QB: Ben Roethlisberger believes this is the best supporting cast he’s ever had on offense.

RB: Le’Veon Bell has not had his appeal heard yet and is not sure when it will be heard. However, he’s optimistic his three-game suspension will be reduced or even overturned.

WR: Martavis Bryant has added 10-pounds of muscle.

TE: Rookie Jesse James could be the long-term replacement for veteran Heath Miller.

CINCINNATI BENGALS

QB: Backup A.J. McCarron has played exceptionally this offseason and the team may only keep two QBs because of how good he’s looked.

RB: Jeremy Hill believes he’ll split touches with Giovani Bernard again this season.

WR: Marvin Jones is finally back and fully healthy after missing all of last season with foot and ankle injuries, and a portion of OTAs with a hamstring issue.

TE: Rookie C.J. Uzomah has been a standout in camp and is the favorite to be the TE2 over Tyler Kroft and could even push Tyler Eifert for the starting job.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

QB: The Ravens have brought in Matt Schaub to back up Joe Flacco.  If you are a Ravens fan you hope Schaub never plays.

RB: Justin Forsett is expected to play a larger role in the passing game this season.

WR: Kamar Aiken is the favorite to win the WR2 job as Breshad Perriman continues to struggle with drops.

TE: Dennis Pitta has yet to be medically cleared for team drills.

CLEVELAND BROWNS

QB: Josh McCown is the heavy favorite to win the Browns’ starting job.

RB: Rookie Duke Johnson has been the most impressive back in camp and has been lining up out wide in certain formations.

WR: Taylor Gabriel has been the Browns’ best wideout this offseason.

TE: Rob Housler will more than likely be the starting TE in Cleveland this season.

AFC SOUTH

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

QB: Andrew Luck has already built quite the rapport with free agent WR Andre Johnson.

RB: Rookie Josh Robinson has a real shot to emerge as the RB2 this season and the eventual starter in the future.

WR: Rookie Phillip Dorsett has shined this offseason and is expected to play a significant role in the offense right away.

TE: Dwayne Allen missed the offseason conditioning program due to the same bulky ankle he dealt with last season.

HOUSTON TEXANS

QB: Head coach Bill O’Brien still isn’t ready to choose a starting QB. Neither Brian Hoyer nor Ryan Mallett has done much to separate themselves from the other.

RB: Arian Foster is having the healthiest offseason he’s had in years.

WR: Nate Washington has been a standout this offseason while rookie Jaelen Strong is yet to impress.

TE: C.J. Fiedorowicz is fully recovered from a knee procedure in January.

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

QB: Blake Bortles has worked hard on his mechanics and fundamentals this offseason.

RB: Rookie T.J. Yeldon is not only the favorite to start but will likely see feature-back touches.

WR: Since returning from the foot fracture he suffered last season, Allen Robinson has been “unbelievable” in camp.

TE: Marcedes Lewis is expected to see his role reduced to primarily being a blocking TE.

TENNESSEE TITANS

QB: Second-overall pick Marcus Mariota will be the starting QB this season and has impressed his coaches thus far. The offense will be modified to fit his skill set.

RB: Rookie David Cobb could emerge as the RB1 this season. The team recently cut the Titans’ other big back, Shonn Greene.

WR: Rookie Dorial Green-Beckham has struggled with hamstring injuries this offseason and has fallen significantly behind.

TE: The Titans added Anthony Fasano to backup Delanie Walker.

AFC WEST

DENVER BRONCOS

QB: Peyton Manning has seen his practice reps reduced under new head coach Gary Kubiak in order to keep him fresh. Team is expected to transition to a slower paced run-heavy offense this season.

RB: C.J. Anderson is still atop the depth chart, but the Broncos are expected to deploy some sort of committee with Montee Ball as a close second in touches and Ronnie Hillman mixed in as well.

WR: Demaryius Thomas still has not signed his franchise tender and could have a lengthy holdout. Also, Emmanuel Sanders has admitted he expects to see his production take a hit in the new offense.

TE: Rookie Jeff Heuerman tore his ACL during rookie minicamp.

SAN DIEGO CHARGERS

QB: Despite multiple rumors of Philip Rivers’ days with the Chargers being numbered, he says he wants to finish his career in San Diego.

RB: Danny Woodhead is fully recovered from a broken leg he suffered last season and looks to be back to form.

WR: Malcom Floyd has insisted on multiple occasions that he’s “all in” and this will be his last season as a pro.

TE: Antonio Gates wants and is expected to see both his snaps and practice reps reduced this season. Ladarius Green is the likely beneficiary.

KANSAS CITY CHIEFS

QB: The coaches want Alex Smith to be more aggressive and take more shots down field this season.

RB: Jamaal Charles has slimmed down and intends to play for six more seasons. Knile Davis believes he’s every bit as talented as Charles.

WR: Rookie Chris Conley has made a serious push for a starting job this offseason.

TE: Travis Kelce has been a star in camp and is playing with aggression and confidence.

OAKLAND RAIDERS

QB: After suffering a significant injury to his right ring finger in OTAs, Derek Carr avoided surgery and is back to being a full participant in practice.

RB: Latavius Murray is expected to see a heavy workload and is in line for a breakout season.

WR: Amari Cooper has been touted as the real deal this offseason.

TE: Rookie Clive Walford has been outstanding and is now the favorite to beat out Mychal Rivera for the starting job.

 

Tomorrow will be a look at the NFC.

*Your Team* is DiRTy

I’ve just been handed an urgent news story – great Odin’s Raven – every team cheats?  I know, I know – it puts you in a glass case of emotion with nothing to drink but milk on a hot day – poor choice.  So, your team has shown, that it’s plan, 60% of the time to win a Superbowl, works everytime – as long as it cheats.  Says so right here on the label and thanks to YourTeamCheats.com we have all the gate-y-ness exposed – it’s science.

Here is a sampling of the ongoing league-wide issues:

Tamper-gate (ongoing) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Tampering with free agents is rampant, it’s laughable and it is against the rules (PDF). It’s so bad across every team in the league that the NFL had to create a three-day legal tampering period. However, tampering still regularly occurs long before that annual three-day window opens. On March 9, 2015 the league once again felt compelled to warn all 32 teams about not tampering.

Why is tampering considered a problem? Because tampering with players still under contract makes it difficult for clubs to re-sign their own talent. It also puts those few teams that actually follow NFL guidelines at a distinct disadvantage. In many cases, contract agreements are in place days before any negotiations are allowed to begin.

This isn’t fair, it isn’t legal, and it is blatant cheating by the teams who engage in the practice.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No but…

PUNISHMENT: NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Roger Goodell is doing all he can to curtail and punish the “commonplace” practice, although it admits that there is so much tampering that it is hard to police it all.

The CheatPoints earned for this leaguewide cheat is for all of this team’s tampering incidents that have gone undiscovered or unproven. If specific instances are discovered, they are punished on top of this leaguewide penalty.

AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 4.0

Headset-gate (ongoing) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: it’s a common complaint around the NFL. In late, close games, the helmet communicators of visiting teams suddenly “malfunction” and stop working. It has been accepted as standard practice in the league. Are you on the road and the game is close? Then you are going to have problems with your headset.

In recent years, the Patriots have accused the Colts of doing it and the Jaguars have made the same charge of the Patriots. The Redskins accused the Buccaneers of disabling their headsets, and Tampa Bay accused Dallas. The Giants openly bragged about doing it way back in 1956. The charges go on and on and on.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 4.0

Spy-gate (until 2006) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Stealing your opponent’s signals has always been common and never been illegal.

Said former Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Bill Cowher, “We had people that always tried to steal signals. Stealing someone’s signals was a part of the game, and everyone attempted to do that.” Admitted former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson: “When I came into the NFL, back in 1989, I talked to a Kansas City scout and he said, ‘Here’s what we do, we videotape the opposing team’s signals and then we sync it up with the game film.’ So I did it.” Bragged, former Denver Broncos head coach Mike Shanahan: “Our guy keeps a pair of binoculars on their signal-callers every game, with any luck, we have their defensive signals figured out by halftime. Sometimes, by the end of the first quarter.”

NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Rodger Goodell confirmed this himself in 2008, saying that the issue was not stealing signals, that is allowed “and it is done quite widely.” The issue is where and how you record them. If you chose to videotape them, then (after 2006) you have to do that from a league approved location. If you hire lip readers, they can do it from your coaches lap, if you want.

After 2006, examples of allowed videotaping locations are: the luxury boxes, media booths and other enclosed spaces. Expressly prohibited locations are the sidelines, the field, locker rooms, the coaches booth or any other place accessible to team coaches and staff. The point of the rule is to not allow the footage to be useful in the current game.

Prior to the September 6, 2006 memo and, 2007 follow up, from NFL head of football operations Ray Anderson, there was no league restriction on filming location, which is the reason the memo was sent.

Many NFL head coaches have downplayed the significance of the practice, saying that attempting to decipher opponent’s signals was a long standing practice andentirely common throughout the league.

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

PUNISHMENT: NFL commissioner and former Jets public relations intern Rodger Goodell suggested that the responsibility was on teams to conceal their messages, not on the ones trying to steal them. During his news conference before the 2007 Super Bowl he said that any coach who did not expect signals to be stolen was “stupid.”

Prior to 2006, every NFL team is assumed to have done it, but none of them broke a rule. You can’t punish something that is not prohibited. Filming from the sidelines was not prohibited until 2006 and filming your opponent’s signals from approved locations has never been prohibited, even today.

AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 0.0

Scraps-gate (ongoing) flags

TEAM: All 32 NFL Teams

SEVERITY:scale

SUMMARY: Sign an opponent’s recently-cut player to your practice squad to get intel on their plays, signals and tactics. This is not illegal and is a leaguewide practice.

Said one player, who chose to remain anonymous as he was still in the league as of 2015, “If teams have an opening at a certain position, they might not be looking for perhaps the best player to fill it on their practice squad. Instead, they might go for someone who has access to the opposing team’s playbook.”

“Let’s say we’re playing the Jaguars in seven days and you want to know more about their playbook. From time to time teams will sign people off of practice squads. You don’t have to put them on active roster so if there’s a need for more depth at linebacker and you’re playing Jacksonville, there would be more of a chance to sign a linebacker off the team you’re about to play’s practice squad and hoping that the person you’re about to sign will divulge information about the playbook.”

VICTIM: The entire league

PUNISHED? No

PUNISHMENT: Not illegal.

AWARDS EARNED:Everyone Was Doing It!

CHEATPOINTS EARNED:+ 0.0


So what have we learned, well we have learned a lot, (Cheaters win, and three of the biggest cheats are in the AFC – with the Broncos being the worst of them all) and if you want to see for yourself – click on your teams’ icon and go directly to YourTeamCheats.com to find out all the little dirty secrets in your teams closet.  Then write your congressman and tell him/her that the media needs to slander every team, not just the Patriots.

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CHEATSCORES
NFC EAST NFC NORTH NFC SOUTH NFC WEST AFC EAST AFC NORTH AFC SOUTH AFC WEST
DAL – 20 CHI – 20 ATL – 28 ARI – 13 BUF – 16 BAL – 35 HOU – 16 DEN – 49
NYG – 35 DET – 28 CAR – 20 SEA – 25 MIA – 22 CIN – 16 IND – 37 KC – 16
PHI – 28 GB – 27 NO – 23 SF – 31 NE – 25 CLE – 13 JAX – 12 OAK – 27
WAS –37 MIN – 23 STL – 14 TB – 25 NYJ – 40 PIT – 46 TEN – 20 SD – 19